In most two-parent families in the Netherlands, both parents have a paid job. In 2009 this was true for more than three-quarters of two-parent families. Seventy percent of mothers spend most of their time on care and household work. For fathers this is nearly 10 percent.
Few mothers work more than fathers
Last year, there were 1.6 million couples with at least one underage child in the Netherlands. In 77 percent of these families both parents worked. This was up from 68 percent in 2002.
In 2009 the father worked longest hours in 62 percent of families, parents worked the same number of hours in 13 percent, and the mother worked most hours in 2 percent.
Parents work equal hours in one in eight families
The percentage of couples in which both parents worked, but where the father worked most hours rose from 56 percent in 2002 to 62 percent in 2009. This is because more mothers work in part-time jobs. The percentage of couples where partners worked the same number of hours also rose, by 3 percent points to 13 percent. At the same time the number of families where only the father worked fell from 26 to 17 percent.
Division of work between parents with underage children
Mothers spend most time on the family
Paid work accounts for most time of 87 percent of fathers. Just under one in ten say they spend most of their time on the family. For mothers this is exactly the other way around: more than 70 percent are mainly occupied with housework and care for the family. One quarter spend most time on paid work.
Couples who work the same number of hours divide work and care more evenly. About one third of mothers say that caring for the children is their priority, compared with 10 percent of fathers. In families where the mother works most hours, 40 percent of fathers say they are mainly responsible for housework and childcare.
Main time use of parents with underage children, 2007-2009
Few fathers give up work for their children
Care for the family is mentioned by 65 percent of mothers who do not work or who work for less than 12 hours a week as the main reason for not working or working only for a few hours. Only 6 percent of fathers give this as a reason. For them illness or incapacity are the most cited reasons for not working or working a small number of hours.
Reasons for parents not to work, 2007-2009
Marjolein Korvorst and Tanja Traag